Tonic water has come a long way from being a malaria-prevention medical component to being a substitute for sodas and soft drinks. Apart from its fun element, tonic water still fulfills several types of medical purposes. For example, people use it to treat their nighttime leg cramps, which is why a bottle of it is always found in every other household.
But is it advisable to store tonic water for such emergencies? Will it go bad? Of course, it will, especially once you open the bottle. Eventually, the gas will lose its strength, and the tonic water will lose its quality and taste.
However, you can elongate the shelf life of your tonic water by adhering to a few storage tips and techniques. If that is what you are looking for, let’s start this journey together.
Does Tonic Water Go Bad?
Some might think that tonic water will stay as forever as regular water, but that’s completely wrong. Tonic water bottles have the best-by date labeled like every other product, which tells you how soon the product can be consumed before the quality gets weakened.
But here’s a catch; most of the unopened tonic water bottles get past the best by date and still retain their quality.
If stored with proper measures, this product has a limited shelf life and might stay longer unless it’s opened. As long as there is no change in the smell, flavor, and color, one can easily consume it.
However, the life span will turn shorter once the seal is broken. If it’s not stored correctly, there are chances it could easily go bad. The tonic water will lose its fizziness and bubbliness and turn flat, which is not good if you wish to mix it with gin.
It’s still safe to drink, but it won’t taste as you thought it would. With such a loss of quality, it would be best to toss it out.
How Long Does Tonic Water Lasts?
As it’s said previously, tonic water retains its quality even after its best-by date. But the scenarios differ as per the condition of the bottle and the storage facilities.
Let us look at the different circumstances.
How long does Tonic Water last unopened? How long does Tonic Water last once opened?
The unopened bottle will be safe to drink when stored for a much longer period than the opened bottle. If it’s sealed properly, it can last for 3-5 years after the best-by date. But if unopened, the quality will start to change drastically, and it will start losing its quality faster.
How long does Tonic Water last at room temperature?
If stored at room temperature, tonic water will last for a day or two (24-48 hours), but it will last for 3-5 days if stored in the refrigerator.
After a few days, the soda will lose its quality and taste watery. It will still be safe to drink, but the essential properties will be gone. In other words, the gin or cocktail won’t turn out as good as you would like it to.
How Long does Tonic Water last in the Fridge?
Commercially sealed and an unopened bottle of Tonic water will last for 9 months over its best-by date. But as soon as you open the bottle, its shelf life falls down to 1 week.
How Can You Tell if Tonic Water Is Bad?
Generally, tonic water doesn’t really go bad, which makes it safe to consume. Unless the contaminants had found a way to enter the bottle, it would last some time.
If you feel the bottle is old, most likely, the tonic would still be good. Or else we humans have the best quality of the senses, so by using a sense of smell, one can easily find out if the quality has turned bad. If it smells nasty, it’s not a healthy sign.
You can also check it with strong visual power. Take a glass, pour some of the tonic water in it and scan if there are any changes in its color. If it has turned yellowish, it’s time to get a new tonic water bottle.
If the smell and look are good, you can go ahead and have a taste to decide whether to keep it or discard it. If the bottle has a crack, is misshaped, or the seal has broken, the product is not in a position to be consumed. If the container is rusty or you’ve found a sign which showcases any leaks, then it’s clear that the quality of tonic water has been compromised.
And what about the bottle which is opened and stored in the fridge?
Storing the tonic water in the fridge helps preserve its quality flavor for a few more days, ensuring that the bubbly nature is still present. But over time, it loses its bubbly nature as it wouldn’t be closed that tightly. So before preparing a gin or cocktail, have a taste before mixing; otherwise, it will be wasted, and you’ll feel guilty. If the taste is not that good, then discarding it is the only option left.
How to Store Tonic Water
No wonder tonic water is a unique ingredient for most cocktails, which concludes that many people have a bottle or two stored at home for unexpected friends or family members coming over for a party or a small meet-up.
And people’s major concern while preserving this product is how to keep it as sparkling and bubbly as it was when they first opened it.
Well, we can propose a few practical and tried-and-true ways to assist you with that!
Keep it in the pantry.
Make sure the place is cool and dry. You can store your unopened tonic water bottle in the pantry. And due to the coolness, it will maintain its quality even after years of storage.
You can even store it in the cabinets, shelves, or wine cellars. To keep the bottles safe, place them horizontally.
Keep away from the sources of heat.
Ensure the bottle is stored far away from the sources of heat. Sometimes when the carbonated drinks get in touch with heat sources, they burst. Also, the light rays decrease the bubbles in the drinks.
Store in the refrigerator.
Opened tonic bottles are best stored in the fridge and last for 3-5 days. Though the quality might change as it’s opened, the taste won’t be as refreshing as opening the bottle. The refrigerator’s coolness will help the tonic water to keep fizzy and bubbly.
You just need to make sure that you close it tightly before storing it in the fridge. This will keep the quality of the drink intact.
Is it okay to use expired Tonic Water?
Consuming expired tonic water will often lead to bad taste, upset stomach, nausea, or even food poisoning.
Hence it is always advisable to avoid consuming expired tonic water. You got some luck if you have always been fit and fine with no lower immune level. Well, the risk is at most; it might spoil your mood or evening.
So we never really recommend consuming spoiled or expired tonic water.
Can you freeze tonic water?
Tonic water doesn’t require freezing. It will compromise the quality of the product. The tonic water will become flat once it’s been thawed. As per our advice store, the open tonic bottle in the fridge itself and consume it as soon as possible.
What can I do with old tonic water?
If you do not want to risk your health with old tonic water but can’t seem to convince yourself to discard it, you can use it in the following ways:
1. Mix tonic water with water in a 1:2 proportion to help preserve your plants.
2. Use it to clean counters or any glass surfaces.
3. Since tonic water glows in the dark, you can use it to create a creative decoration for your room.
4. Remove stains on your clothes or carpets by dabbing them with some tonic water.
5. Soak your rusty bolts, nuts, and keys in tonic water.
6. Keep your jewelry shining by cleaning them with tonic water. It will remove all kinds of dirt and grime from it.
What are the Alternatives to Tonic Water if it has gone bad?
If you were planning to use tonic water but find yourself with a degraded bottle, you could resort to the following alternatives:
- Soda water
- Ginger ale
- Lemon-lime soda
- Gin and lime
- Gin and Elderflower
FAQs About Tonic Water
Why is my tonic water flat?
The lack of proper storage facilities for an opened bottle of tonic water can cause it to go flat. Moreover, pouring your tonic water too fast can also make your tonic water flat.
Is it possible to drink too much tonic water?
Tonic has no known health advantages outside a calming effect. Thus it can’t be hazardous. However, because it includes sugar, regular use may result in more caloric intake.
Can expired Tonic Water make you sick?
This liquid refreshment will not damage you unless you are extremely sensitive to quinine. But if you are, we recommend avoiding it as it can make you sick.
Why does tonic water lose its fizz? How do you keep tonic water sparkling?
Your tonic water will lose its fizz if it is kept under direct sunlight. Contact with oxygen can also make it lose its fizz. The best way to keep your tonic water sparkling is by keeping the bottles refrigerated.
Tonic water is a great substitute for plain water and also serves as a refreshing drink. However, it will not persist indefinitely.
To retain the highest quality of tonic water, seal it firmly after use and keep it appropriately. Tonic water is not dangerous to consume, although it may lose its flavor. If this is the case, get rid of it as soon as possible.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael A. Antoine is a Sr. Chef at one of the leading chains of restaurants in the USA. He might raise hell in his kitchen, but his deep and practical knowledge about food and recipes helps us give you the best and tastiest recipes.